Light rail construction: ‘hood blogs say no worry

I’m scheduled to be on KUOW’s Weekday program to talk light rail construction and life on Capitol Hill. Could be Monday. Could be Wednesday. Depends on when officials can make time in their schedules. Depends on whether more interesting topics emerge. So it goes for the coming light rail construction — nobody knows how much attention to pay it.

Capitol Hill station zone

After all, Sound Transit has already been digging tunnels and laying track across south Seattle for years now. Their University Link project is more of the same, right? When they start tearing down buildings next month, it won’t be any worse than the projects underway south of us in neighborhoods like Beacon Hill, right?

I’ve asked a variant of this question before. Here’s one answer:

Beacon Hill is different byPairustwo – 4 months ago
I’ve been a first hand witness to the Beacon Hill dig and what you get is a single building made of blue plywood that is exactly one block wide and one block long, about two stories high. No roof. That is the sound deadening around the dig. Not pretty, not hideous. I think the big difference between the two is that Denny and Broadway are (were) in the center of a pedestrian thoroughfare and commercial corridor. The beacon hill dig is across the street from a Red Apple parking lot. Not a lot of foot traffic around there. The streets are not as small around Beacon Hill. I can’t imagine what it will be like pushing those trucks up and down John/Denny. And blocking the freeway for 9 months…Jesus.

I went digging through some of the neighborhood blogs from the areas where light rail construction is underway and moving toward completion to see what they have written about light rail construction’s impact. Mostly, the focus seems to be on positive (and some negative) changes the rail system will bring to the character of the areas — not a lot of hand wringing about the pains of digging and construction.

Maybe the sites are all too new and the phases of construction all passed, but there is not a “Woe to ye who dare to tunnel” post in the bunch. Check the rest of Googledom, too. Nothing.

So maybe Capitol Hill has nothing to worry about. We worried about a dead zone from abandoned buildings, they gave us art to fill it. The chamber of commerce has a war fund to help it thrive and survive. We asked for a fruit market and, heck, we’ll probably get that too. Maybe tearing down four blocks and digging a tunnel in the densest neighborhood Sound Transit has ever worked in won’t be the big deal you might have expected. Could make for the most boring hour on KUOW. If we don’t get bumped.

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3 thoughts on “Light rail construction: ‘hood blogs say no worry

  1. I live at Melrose and Olive and I’m mooooooving in mid-’09 for sure. If they get thier noise ordnance variance and start rumbling those trucks up and down both sides of my block at 0600 things aren’t going to be fun.

    I think it’s going to divide Broadway into two separate ‘neighborhoods’ on either side of the construction, especially if there’s tons of noise.

  2. Yeah I think this construction is definitely going to cut Broadway in half. There was already kind of a dead spot there with not many good businesses on that little stretch of Broadway, and this construction is just going to solidify that dead zone. Pike/ Pine and North Broadway keep seeming to get further and further apart. Once the station is open it’ll bridge the gap, but that’s a long ways out!

  3. Furthermore, I’m sure they’re going to be taking that whole block of parking spaces away, maybe on all 4 sides of the construction, possibly on both sides of the street on the non-Broadway streets (don’t know if they could fit a dump truck otherwise). I’m sure that’s going to make for some unhappy locals and visitors.